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Our friends at Flourish Ventures are surveying VC-backed founders in Egypt, Kenya, and Nigeria to find the unique challenges African tech founders face and raise awareness and support for their needs. They want to hear from founders and create a report that will help investors and ecosystem partners provide better support and resources for founders across the continent.

If you’re a VC-backed founder in Egypt, Kenya, and Nigeria, please take a couple of minutes to complete this brief survey. All survey respondents will remain anonymous, and Flourish will share a comprehensive report later this year.


Partech closes $300 million in its Partech Africa II fund

African startups raised $3.2 billion in 2023, the lowest funding since 2020’s $2.1 billion, and a 36% drop from 2022’s $5 billion. As investors tighten their belts and brace for a potentially tough first half of 2024, global VC firm, Partech Africa, has sent a strong signal of confidence by closing its second Africa-focused fund, “Partech II,” at $300 million.

The amount doubles the size of its first fund, which closed at $143 million in 2018. Partech Africa II reached its final close of $300 million, a year after securing its first close at $263 million.

The investment: According to Cyril Collon, general partner at Partech, nearly all investors like the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) from their first fund have reinvested, with some even doubling their commitment. Additionally, the new funding comes from US and Middle East pension funds, including new “strategic partners” like Africa Reinsurance Corporation and Dubai Future District Fund (DFDF). Partech II will target investments in various sectors, focusing on seed to Series C rounds with ticket sizes ranging from $1 million to $15 million.

Partech’s previous track record includes investments in African companies like Wave, Yoco, and Vendease. With its new fund, the firm has already invested in three promising startups, including Revio, a South African payment solution provider, and two other undisclosed startups in Egypt and Senegal.

Zoom out: Building on its established presence in Dakar, Nairobi, and Dubai, Partech will further strengthen its commitment to African entrepreneurs by opening a new office in Lagos, a hub for a third of its portfolio companies.

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Mara takes a break

Nigerian crypto wallet provider Mara has told customers that it paused UK operations in November 2023 due to new regulations.

What regulations? CEOChiNnandi told TechCabal that Mara violated FCA rules of “providing or promoting financial services or products in the UK without permission.” FCA’s list didn’t include Mara or any of its known service providers.

Mara, however, didn’t specify how its marketing activities became non-compliant with the regulations. The startup claims it’s working to “align with the new changes in policy”.

Mara? Launched in 2021 by former Nvidia, Founders Bank, and Rappi executives, Mara primarily targeted Nigerian and Kenyan users, allowing them to buy, sell, and manage crypto and fiat currencies within its wallet platform. The startup with over 4 million users secured $23 million in funding from prominent investors like Coinbase and FTX.

Following the November shutdown, Mara instructed users to move their funds to traditional bank accounts as it undergoes an “upgrade”. It has, however, not provided a timeline for resuming services. 

Mara’s recent pause adds to a string of setbacks it faced in the past year. The year began with layoffs in its marketing team and nearly its entire non-profit arm. Soon after, Mara Foundation also shut down Mara Academy, its crypto education platform launched in partnership with Circle, the issuer of the popular stablecoin USDC.

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Kenya bans second-hand EVs

Eighty-five out of every 100 cars imported into Kenya are second-used cars. The country now wants to change this narrative for its nascent EV market. 

The news: Yesterday, Kenya’s Bureau of Standards (KEBS)—a regulatory body responsible for enforcing quality and safety standards—banned the importation of electric vehicles that have less than 80% battery life. 

The body also directed that used vehicles imported from Japan, UAE, Thailand, Singapore, South Africa and the UK will be subject to mandatory pre-inspection by the bureau-appointed inspection agent—Quality Inspection Services Inc. (QISJ). 

Why? A short answer is that Kenya is taking a stand against becoming a dumping ground for electronic waste and subpar vehicles. The KEBS in recent times has applied extra layers of scrutiny on the kind of cars that are allowed in the country. In December last year, the KEBS banned the importation of vehicles whose year of first registration is before January 1, 2017.

While these proactive measures showcase Kenya’s commitment to sustainable development and responsible consumer practices, it remains to be seen if other African nations follow suit.


Showmax surpasses Netflix in Africa

Since it lost nearly 1.2 million subscribers in the first half of 2022, its first decline in a decade, Netflix has been fighting to regain its market share. 

By Q2 of 2023, the company managed to add nearly 6 million subscribers, thanks to measures like a crackdown on password sharing and a cheaper ad-supported subscription tier. However, despite this subscriber growth, the company’s shares plummeted by roughly 20% in July 2023.

As Netflix grapples with regaining lost ground, it’s also facing stiff competition in Africa, one of its growing markets. Showmax, an African streaming platform, has overtaken Netflix as the continent’s most popular streaming service.

Showmax takes the lead: The South African streaming giant, has emerged as the leading platform in Africa with 2.1 million subscribers, outpacing competitors like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video who had 1.8 million and 300,000 subscribers respectively in November 2023. In the same month, Showmax captured nearly 39% of the market share, surpassing Netflix which had only 33.5% market share, becoming the continent’s most popular streaming service.

How? The Multichoice-owned company’s success story is rooted in a deep understanding of the African audience and strategic partnerships. While offering international content through partnerships with HBO and Comcast, the platform prioritises African shows and movies and actively collaborates with local filmmakers. Beyond local content, Showmax also holds exclusive rights to stream major football leagues, enhancing its appeal to sports fans.

Showmax also recently got a makeover—Showmax 2.0—through a partnership with NBCUniversal, and Sky, which saw Showmax’s parent company, Multichoice, invest $27 million in its relaunch. The streaming company aims to reach 50 million subscribers and $1 billion in revenue over the next five years.

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Nigeria to connect all local governments to the internet

In Nigeria, only 473 of the 774 local governments in the nation have Internet access, with over 30 million Nigerians disconnected from the internet due to infrastructural limitations. 

Now, Nigeria’s ministry of communications, innovation, and digital economy has launched an initiative—Project 774 LG Connectivity—that seeks to connect all 774 Local Government (LG) secretariats across the country to the internet.

The initiative aims to promote inclusive development by ensuring access to digital public infrastructure in the most remote and underserved parts of the country.

The project promises several benefits: “Project 774 LG Connectivity” is anticipated to generate at least 300 direct employment opportunities, with the potential for further indirect job growth stemming from increased digital access. Recognising the challenge of low demand hindering broadband infrastructure investment, Bosun Tijani, the minister, also highlighted plans to connect all government institutions across Nigeria to stimulate internet demand and consumption.

Tijani announced the project launch on Twitter. He also stated that the project will be co-anchored by Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited and Galaxy Backbone.

Crypto Tracker

The World Wide Web3


OneLiquidity  logo

Coin Name

Current Value



Bitcoin 51,971

– 0.58%

+ 24.51%

Ether $2,924

+ 0.96%

+ 17.81%



+ 12.69%

+ 12.69%

Worldcoin $6.65

+ 5.74%

+ 162.87%

* Data as of 06:00 AM WAT, Febraury 20, 2024.

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  • Meta, in collaboration with Ingressive for Good, has partnered to address the surging demand for digital marketing skills in the industry by offering scholarships to empower at least 5,000 youths in Nigeria, South Africa, Côte d’Ivoire and Kenya to thrive in their digital careers. Upon successful completion of the programme, participants will embark on a transformative 30-day job readiness bootcamp, acquiring essential soft skills and gaining exclusive access to industry thought leaders for mentorship and guidance. Apply here.

  • Selar, Africa’s leading creator platform, is thrilled to introduce the Selar Tuition Funds initiative, a project aimed at providing financial support to students in Nigerian tertiary institutions. This year, Selar will grant ₦100,000 to 50 final year students, helping them overcome the escalating cost of education and successfully complete their studies. In addition to the financial aid, Selar will offer internship opportunities to further enhance the recipients’ educational journey and foster their career growth. Apply by February 21.

  • The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and Tech4Dev have opened applications for the DigitalforAll Challenge 2.0. The program, which is divided into three categories: Young Learners (Ages 12-18); Youth Category (Ages 19-45); and Civil Servants, will reward winners and runners-up in each category with cash prizes. the winner from each category will receive₦10 million cash, while the first runner-up will get a consolation prize of ₦7.5 million. The second runner-up for each of the categories will receive ₦5 million. Apply here.

Written by: Mariam Muhammad & Faith Omoniyi

Edited by: Timi Odueso

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